Sunday, January 10, 2016

Row your boat

The new David Bowie release got me thinking about streaming this past week.  I was discussing the album, and how certain reviewers make me feel  like just going out and buying albums before I've even heard a single track.  The same thing was happening with the Bowie album:  All the chatter about it, and the positive press, got me considering just going and getting it and listening to it afterwards.  Something good may have come of that decision as I may have given it more attention if I'd went through with a proper purchase -- I was looking forward to going to the record shop, picking it up, listening in the car, and so on.  But instead I decided to listen to whatever tracks were up on youtube and ended up finding the whole album there.  So then I just streamed it, and it was OK, but, for now at least, I lost the urge to buy it.  I think that streaming cheapens music too much in that regard -- with streaming I literally invest nothing in the music, so I can just take it or leave it, not really pay it a whole lot of attention.  I think some very good work probably gets short-changed that way.

As for the Bowie, Petridis says it's proper jazz, not just a band with some horns.  He also thinks the music is quite avante garde.  This is another possible problem with reviews, they can really send your expectations in a certain direction.  Thankfully, in this case I think Petridis overstates the case a bit -- to me this sounds exactly like a good but normal band trying a little too hard to be "different" -- or maybe the spectrum of pop music is so wide now that something like this album ends up sounding quite normal, in a good way.

I may have issues with streaming, but I'd say modern changes to the way I consume music have overall made things better.  I heard this BC Camplight track on 6 music via my phone, and then found it on Soundcloud  for this blog.  Because of that I heard the rather nice track by Amason, who I'd never heard of otherwise.

Speaking of 6 music, the Chemical Brothers were on that over Christmas for a three hour show.  It was good, just a nice show with chatting and music and mixes.  The Chemical Brothers came across as very current, which is kind of remarkable for a 20 year old dance music act.  But even though they talked about things from the past, to me they didn't seem like one of those  nostalgia acts that are around.  They seemed like a relevant act who happen to have been around for a long time.  It was good, made me happy for them.  The show's worth checking out for some of the mixes and remixes, especially the Tom Rowlands remix of Doves' Kingdom of Rust.  Six years in the making apparently!   That mix is the last half hour of the show, or you can hear it by itself here.   The old tracks have held up very well -- I'd love to see these guys live again.  Fun fact: I ended up buying Q tip's solo album after listening to the show; you'll have to listen to the show to find out why though.

Lastly, earlier today my wife and I were discussing the lack of diversity amongst Islamic scholars, the best known of whom are basically all men.  We agreed that there must be well qualified women out there who just aren't being given the opportunities that men are, which is very problematic, for multiple reasons.  I think when someone like my wife identities a problem like this, they have to act.  Which, of course, brings to mind the Streets:

1 comment:


    also...why you talking about islamic scholarship here?? this is a music blog bro.